Monday, October 16, 2006

My Professorial Debut

Tomorrow night at 8 PM, I'll start teaching my first college class. The class is EH0302 or Fundamentals of Reading and Writing or Remedial English.

Yes, I'm teaching the folks who couldn't pass that exam we all took when we started college that told the academic overlords whether or not we should go straight to 101. The thing is, these people (at least most of them) are not traditional students. They're in the adult program. So, I'll be teaching people who have been using incorrect grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure for 20 years plus.

But, I'm looking forward to the challenge. I hope that something I teach them will make the difference in how they progress through the remainder of their studies. Maybe the single Mom with two kids will get that job she needs because she was articulate and knowledgeable in her interview. Perhaps the man who will be the first person in his family to hold a degree will learn how to read and comprehend more effectively so that he can create a heritage of words for succeeding generations.

I know these are big ideas, but I take this seriously. Hopefully, they will too.


mullinz8 said...

This is really cool.

How did you get the gig? I know you’re a charismatic young feller but this seems to be a stretch back to (gasp) actually use your degree. For a guy who is always claiming to need a few more free moments during the week teaching a class, even once a week, and then grading papers the rest doesn’t really minimize the workload. Then again the extra cash might be nice too.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Jamison said...

i think that is an awesome attitude to have and will make your job much more rewarding... keep that line of thinking.

bigsip said...

Well, I like to help people and I LOVE to teach.

I got the gig by asking around at Faulkner. Before we ever moved here, I had considered hiring on full-time as a prof, but the money's not so hot. So, I got the better-paying job and decided I'd try the adjunct route some time.

So, now I'm trying it out! It actually shouldn't be too time consuming overall. The actual teaching will amount to 32 hours for the whole semester and I figured another 10 or so for grading, etc. I've taught classes before and tend to be pretty quick on the turn around.

I get paid $1100 for all that, which is great right before xmas!

It's something I'll probably do once a year. It's fun, simple, and something that'll keep my hat in the ring for retirement.

But, overall I hope I'll make at least a small difference. That's the whole point.

Rachel said...

Hey, you might want to spell "Fundamentals" correctly in the actual class... ;)

bigsip said...

Thanks, "Little Miss Spell Check".

I htought about running the spell check in Word for typos and such. Alas, I did not.

Brewster said...

That's rad sipper. Now all you need to do is talk them into having a french department and hire my wife.

bigsip said...


Tonight should be pretty low key, by the way.

I'm going to introduce the course, myself, have them intro themselves, and have the all write a sentence describing their favorite food.

I'll make sure they don't write their names on the papers, have them pass them forward then look at each one and see how we can improve them.

Should be "fun". :)

Jamison said...

Oh wow, didnt realize it was tonight, the best of luck to you my friend! Doing something you have always wanted to do and getting paid, a rare treat in life.

bigsip said...

Thank you, my dear man.

I'm really excited about it!

Rachel, the boys, the in-laws, and I will eat at the FU cafeteria, hang out at their pad for a bit then I'll take off for Brooks Hall.

It's gonna be weird being on the north side of the lectern, but here I go!

bigsip said...

Well, I'm here!

I am posting from my classroom. It's a spaarse place with white walls and wood veneer desks. My students should be here in 45 mins or so.

I'll tell y'all about it tomorrow!

Diana said...

I'm so excited for you, Sipper!

Break a leg!!

bigsip said...

Thanks, Di!

Class went very well. When I ot my first enrollment, I was supposed to have 11 students. Then, I got the final enrollment sheet yesterday and there were nin. I got to class last night and 5 showed up. Fewer papers to grade!

The first half of class (8-9 PM) was the introduction. I introduced myself, then they each got an intro. After that, I passed out the syllabi, shcedules, and some online resources I got together for them.

We took a break and came back for a couple of writing exercises. I had them write the sentence about their favorite food. Three were about pizza. One was about Mexican food and the other about steak.

We all analyzed the sentences together and fixed or made them better. It was fun because they really got into it.

Finally, I gave them their take-home assignment. They're reading an essay by Langston Hughes and using it as a springboard for their own essays.

They are to write a 5-7 sentence paragraph that talks about a seminal moment in their own lives, good or bad, and explain how it changed them.

I'm looking forward to reading the responses.

Everyone seemed to enjoy class, especially me!

bigsip said...

Oh, Brew might get a kick out of this one.

I went to the classroom early to prepare and as I was walking to the copier room I saw Dr. Morris!

I don't know why he was there so late, but it was great to see him.

He stopped and shook my hand and said, "Hey, a professor!"

I rolled my eyes and said, "Well, adjunct anyway."

We chatted for a bit and he said he'd really like to gather some of us old grads to talk to the current majors some time.

They have 20 English majors now!

You know Sting was an...

bigsip said...

Brew, I'll try to mention the French teacher thing to Dr. Morris again, btw.

Maybe they've made some headway on that front.

Jamison said...

I still wish I had shown up in class... that would have been funny.

bigsip said...


Well, you're welcome anytime, my friend.

All are welcome! Come learn to write essays!